Career Planning

How to career plan

If you’ve made it to this page, then congratulations, you are officially career planning. Because like all things, in order to do it you actually have to do it. So, either you’ve landed on this webpage by accident or you’ve ended up on this webpage because you want to take career planning seriously.

And that is probably the first and most important part of career planning.

Take. It. Seriously.

What is career planning?

Career planning starts at different points for everyone. It is the conscious act of saying to yourself, this is what I want to do and then figuring out a way to do it.

You address all the factors that you can think of that will eventually allow you to do the thing that you want to do for a job.

Some of the biggest factors are, what stage are you at in your life? Are you still in full-time education? Are you soon to finish education and go on to something else? Are you working but want to be in a different job role, industry, or sector? Whatever it is you want, the likelihood is that it won’t change overnight. But with planning and consistent focused effort it can and will change.

Why should I career plan?

You should plan because it means you have a foundation to work from. Without a plan you are just making it up as you go along. Making it up as you go along might seem like a plan, but it’s not, that’s actually more like a method. For some people making it up as you go along works, but for others it never leads anywhere.

If you career plan then you can anticipate, reflect, and adjust which are all key skills you can use in order to do the things that you want to do.

What if my career plan isn’t working?

Critically analyse. For starters, how do you know it isn’t working? Are you putting in the effort required or are you just being impatient?

You need to ask yourself lots of questions before you really decide whether or not your career plan isn’t working. Don’t just be sulky and stroppy. Be honest and realistic with yourself.

If you are really struggling to come up with the answers as to why you can’t catch a break then look to others to help you figure out why that might be.

How do I change my career plan?

Change on it’s own is a complex word. A lot of people think of change as scrapping it and starting again. But when it comes to career planning it’s really important to think of change as a change of direction, or making an adjustment. Whatever you have done to this point is still valuable. You don’t want to scrap it and start again, you just need to reflect and learn the lessons from what you have done previously.

But in order to change your career plan, you do exactly the same things as if you were just starting out on your career. You critically analyse. You anticipate and reflect. You predict what could and would happen, and then you pursue what you want to happen.

What is the secret to good career planning?

Using and developing the planning skills that you have. Career planning is a skill. You need to recognise what the skill is. If you can plan what to wear, or what to have for dinner, then you can career plan. You take the same transferable skills that you use when doing those things but apply them to a different topic; career planning.


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